Sheffield aims to become the first #periodpositive city!

Published: 15 October 2017
Sheffield-based comedian, artist, education researcher and former head of PSHE Chella Quint is inviting local primary and secondary schools to take part in a free pilot project from #periodpositive, supported by Learn Sheffield and Sheffield City Council.

This commission opportunity (041 - #periodpositive Schools Charter) can be found in the commissions section of the Learn Sheffield website.

There is a free information session is on Monday 16 October from 4:30 - 6pm at DECSY, Scotia Works, Leadmill Road, Sheffield S1 4SE. There will be a drop-in from 4:30pm and a short presentation and Q&A for interested schools from 5pm.

Please contact chellaquint@gmail.com if you would like to attend the session or would like to discuss any queries before you complete your application!

 

Can you imagine a school where you can ask any teacher for a spare tampon, the head can recommend a good period-tracking app and you make reusable menstrual pads in GCSE textiles? Well, that’s what the new #periodpositive Schools Charter pilot project is proposing, and it can change the way young people think about periods. 

Sheffield-based comedian, artist, education researcher and former head of PSHE Chella Quint is inviting local primary and secondary schools to an information session drop-in and presentation for a free pilot project from #periodpositive, supported by Learn Sheffield and Sheffield City Council.

She is aiming to turn Sheffield into Britain’s first #periodpositive city through a new school charter to support us to become the first place in the UK to formally develop a strategy to challenge menstrual taboos.  

Periods and menstruation education have made headlines this year – and period activism is going strong. With a growing awareness on a national level about “period poverty”, companies introducing menstrual-leave policies and RSE (relationships and sex education) becoming a statutory school subject for 2019, periods are increasingly easier to talk about. People are ready to challenge harmful taboos and change the conversation around menstruation, but we need a long-term education solution. It is time for the #periodpositive Charter.

In a school context, getting “the period talk” right is crucial to young people’s health and wellbeing. Ensuring that pupils feel safe and comfortable starting and managing periods in both primary and secondary school, accessing supplies and approaching staff for support can be exponentially valuable.

Research with pupils and teachers in Sheffield through #periodpositive and the Gender Respect Project has shown surprisingly wide-reaching benefits to creating a taboo-free atmosphere for all pupils around what can be a sensitive subject.

The Charter will support schools to evidence that:

● the school environment supports young people to manage menstruation easily in order to maximise learning time, attendance and focus

● young people understand the biology, management, media and myths around menstruation

● staff feel more confident and knowledgeable about supporting pupils’ menstruation education, both formally and in teachable moments

● subject specialists and pastoral staff are prepared for upcoming National Curriculum guidelines for RSE in 2019

 

“Lots of people are concerned about period poverty. Issues around young people accessing menstrual products is a longstanding problem that has developed over many years and a long-term solution is necessary. I believe the #periodpositive Charter will be a timely intervention that has been in development since 2013 and is ready to launch. It came from focus-group work with young people, teachers, recent school leavers and parents.

"The charter serves as a valuable catalyst for transforming the menstruation landscape for young people now and in the future. It doesn’t just challenge taboos – it dramatically improves the environment that maintains the taboos, and encourages everyone in the school and the community to be a part of that culture shift.

“I hope that teachers, parents and pupils will show their support and encourage their schools to get involved.”

 – Chella Quint

About Chella Quint:

Sometimes people call her The Period Lady and Chella’s okay with that.

During the course of researching menstruation education for her master’s degree, Chella found that pupils wanted to see a symbol that would let them know they could talk to someone about periods. She created the easily recognisable smiling blood-droplet logo as a sign to young people that even though many people still felt uncomfortable talking about periods, there are plenty who will. She also developed a method of teaching about taboo topics using art and drama – particularly comedy – to disrupt the negative pattern of messages being passed down with each new generation of parents and teachers.

Chella has had a longstanding commitment to advising on and supporting the implementation of charter marks because of the support they can provide schools intent on making positive changes for their pupils. Charters work because they give schools a framework and inspire individuals who want to make a change but don’t know where to begin.

Locally, her work has featured in the Gender Respect Project at the DECSY (Development Education Centre South Yorkshire) and in programmes with Sexual Health Sheffield and the Sheffield PSHE Teachers group.

Her menstruation teaching resources have recently received national recognition from respected RSE charities Brook and FPA as recommended best practice by a panel of experts and young people, and they have previously been supported by the Sex Education Forum and Wellcome Trust.

Her five-star reviewed Edinburgh Fringe show Adventures in Menstruating has entertained audiences as a part of the Off the Shelf Festival and is a regular returning fixture to the Manchester Women in Comedy Festival. You may have seen her work profiled in the Times Educational Supplement, heard her interviewed on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour or read articles she has written about menstruation education for the Guardian. Her TEDx Sheffield talk has over 16,200 views.

Email: chellaquint@gmail.com

Twitter: @chellaquint

www.periodpositive.com

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